What Caused the Super Bowl XLVII Blackout

Posted By: Date: 02/08/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Team sports draw a phenomenal amount of sports betting fans every year. One of the most popular annual sporting events in the world in terms of wagering is America’s NFL Super Bowl. In Nevada alone, a record high of $98.9 million was wagered on Super Bowl XLVII as the San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Baltimore Ravens with a -4.5 point spread in favor of San Fran. The result was nearly a blow-out, but the momentum of the game was suddenly thrown into the 49ers favor following a lengthy blackout in the 3rd quarter that is now being blamed on a faulty relay in the wiring system.

If there’s one thing most American football fans can agree on, it’s that momentum has a tremendous effect on the eventual outcome of a game. When an offense has a prominent scoring drive, that team’s defense comes on the field with renewed inspiration, whether the team is winning or not. When a team’s momentum is broken, swinging into their opponent’s favor, the impact can be devastating on the score board.

It was obvious from the onset of this year’s Super Bowl that the Raven’s had all the momentum throughout the first half of the game. The 49ers hoped to claim that momentum in the second half, but those hopes were squashed by the Ravens, who won the coin toss before kick-off and chose to defer their own kick-off reception to the second half. Baltimore came out of the locker room to produce yet another scoring drive before 49ers QB Kaepernick had a chance to work his magic, thus the momentum remained in the Raven’s court.

At that point, it appeared to all that the Baltimore Ravens would produce an astounding blow-out victory in a game they entered as underdogs. But then it happened”¦

Mid-way through the 3rd quarter, the lights went out in the Superdome and stayed out for an excruciating 34 minutes. A portion of the stadium lighting remained active – enough to keep the field and bleachers visible and prevent widespread panic among the crowd ““ but nonetheless, the game was delayed for more than half an hour. The end result was every Ravens fan’s worst nightmare; a complete turn-around in momentum.

The Super Bowl blackout gave the 49ers exactly what they needed. Baltimore was forced to stand by and wait, eliminating the team’s impetus, while San Francisco took the time to recompose themselves. When the game resumed, the San Francisco 49ers were suddenly on the attack. It was an onslaught of scoring drives. One touchdown after another brought them within a single score of winning the game. When the clock ticked down to 0:00, the Raven’s had barely hung on to win 34-31.

Could it be that the 49ers would have come back with such force had there not been a 34 minute delay? Perhaps; avid fans of San Francisco certainly like to believe so. The majority vote, however, goes to the sudden depletion of wind in Baltimore’s sails due to the blackout. In the eyes of many devoted fan, a blow-out was otherwise imminent.  At the time, no one could surmise what caused the abrupt failure in the stadium’s electrical system, and viewers tossed about theories. While speculations soared, the New Orleans Superdome’s power supply company, Entergy, commenced an investigation.

The results are finally in, and it turns out the power failure had nothing to do with sabotage ““ neither form highly intelligent computer geeks nor omnipotent interference ““ but rather a faulty relay in the connections between the power company and the stadium.

A relay is a mechanism used to unite cable systems – in this case, the cables from the power company connecting to the electric cables of the Superdome ““ to prevent electrical failure from a power surge. The relay failed, resulting in the 34 minute blackout of the Super Bowl. Fortunately, for believers in the theoretical, delay-driven shift of momentum, the result of Super Bowl, and all who bet on the game’s -4.5 point spread, was unaffected in the end.

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